Ahmed Aftab Naqvi, founder and CEO of Mumbai-based digital marketing firm Gozoop and startup accelerator Sparknext, has decided to accelerate around 30-40 startups in year 2016.
Sparknext was launched early this year and is currently in stealth mode. It is currently working on invite only model and will be open to everyone from January 2016.
It was started with an aim to help startups take risks and survive in the cut-throat startup ecosystem and prevents them from committing the same mistakes as other failed startups.
Sparknext is established as a venture builder which admits promising individuals as Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIR’s) and helps them in building and growing ideas into a startup. The startups will be provided exclusive access to industry leading designers, engineers, marketing, content writers and a network of mentors. It will accelerate startups operating in consumer internet, enterprise and mobile domains.
How Will Sparknext Work?
The Sparknext team or through its network of investors and industry experts work together with founders to build the product. Also, most of the ideas will be in-house originated by the Sparknext team unlike other traditional models.
Aftab Naqvi explained that Sparknext is a hybrid venture builder where there will be a mix of both incubation and acceleration. They will follow a model similar to that of Rocket Internet and Smile Group, where ideas will be conceived by Sparknext and it will then team up with potential executors and eventually make them co-founders.
It will incubate shortlisted entities from the consumer internet and mobile space as entrepreneurs-in-residence (EIR) for a period of six to eight months and provide them with resources for idea validation, branding, UI/UX, technology, marketing, PR and fundraising, to build and grow these ideas into independent companies.
It is also in the process of setting up a financial vehicle that will follow up on early stage rounds of funding. There is also a commitment to invest at a seed level.
Sparknext will invest through Sparknext Funders Collective, a loose association of HNIs (high networth individuals) and angel investors.
Naqvi added, “Our average investment ticket size in the incubatees will be very small. However, we give a commitment to participate when they raise their angel round of investment from an external investor.”
It also has plans to form a professional angel network based on how the programme evolves.
Sparknext presently has six high potential founders and two EIRs, who have launched eight startups that include Fiticket, Happy2Refer, Campaignstars, MyDietist, Made in Heaven and Adfluenz. It is currently operating on an invite-only basis from January 2016.